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Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike

Score: 92%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Digitial Illusions (DICE)
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 64 (Online)
Genre: First Person Shooter/ Squad-Based

Graphics & Sound:

With the release of the father title Battlefield 2, EA quickly followed it up with an expensive expansion Battlefield 2: Special Forces. This expansion and the few booster packs that followed it were met with mixed reviews and some criticism, based I believe on price point alone. Now, as before, we see the release of 2142: Northern Strike shortly after the release of the parent game Battlefield 2142. Difference here is that EA and DICE seemed to have learned some very important lessons that make this a very successful expansion.

The graphics show no deviation from the current standard in 2142. New weapons and vehicles, of course, call for new models and animations. They all looked great and flowed well.

Just as with the graphics, the expansion pack makes no deviation from the standard use of music or sound affects.


Gameplay:

Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike comes with all of the bells and whistles you expect from an expansion: new maps, new vehicles, new weapons, new tools, new way to play and new awards.

The new maps are designed, of course, to take advantage of the new vehicles that come with Northern Strike. The Bridge at Remagen features two parts of the city divided by the frozen Rhine River. This is a great urban set up with several flags that cannot be taken by just camping them in a vehicle. Lots of room for sneaky snipers and Pilam-toting engineers. Port Bavaria is a high mountain base used to resupply and service Titans. During the attack, one team must reclaim the higher ground using jump transports. The liberation of Leipzig is a dark map featured around a downed Titan in a city setting.

The EU's A3 Goliath and the PAC's Hachimoto are two very different but equally deadly vehicles. The Goliath is a beast amongst all other vehicles in the game. The slow-moving, self-healing hulk works its way slowly and lethally about its mission. It features a main turret that fires timed explosives and a concentrated, shotgun-like blasts. It also features two rapid fire, anti-vehicle shots and multiple anti-personnel machine gun turrets. There is a chink in the beast's armor though. Take out the devices around the vehicle that furnish its healing power and the Goliath will fall. The Hachimoto is a high speed hover vehicle with light armor with a deadly sting from its twin front cannons and manned top cannon. This high speed vehicle is great for hit and runs, but be careful, it isn't very hardy.

There are ten new unlockable toys for use in battle. The Ghost (DS-22 Sniper Decoy) is a decoy device that can trick your enemy into thinking there is another or stationary sniper allowing you to lure away units and attack with deception. Also for the Recon, there is an extended camo upgrade, extending the time you can remain hidden. The ESP modification to the Clark shotgun allows you to fire timed, adhesive devices which are good for short and long range. There is an ammo extension for the assault rifle, shotgun and rocket ammo. You can find hidden enemies without calling for radar using the CM3-N Radar Grenade. Extend your firing time with the SMG Clip expansion. Sometimes your motion mines are just a little out of reach, or you have to hide them very inconspicuously, but you need to give them a little wake up nudge to seek out targets. That is where the MMB-5 motion sensor bait comes in. Throw it to decoy away motion mines or draw them in. The IDS-1 Infantry Sonar allows support units to deploy a stationary sonar allowing you to better defend a position. Shock-absorbing boots will cushion your fall and allow quicker stamina recovery. And lastly, for the squad commander, there is the SL-RPU allowing fallen team members to quickly re-enter the battle without the pesky wait. You can quickly unlock many of these new toys by earning unlocks for the awards and pins associated with this expansion.

Tired of stand-offs during a map where you have beaten a team back to their main, uncapable, base and it is only a matter of time and people before the map ends? Now with Assault Lines, the main base will become unlocked after all other bases are in your possession, allowing you to capture it.


Difficulty:

With all of the new toys, weaponry and vehicles in 2142: Northern Strike, difficulty is in deciding on how you want to go about killing the enemy and where. As the highly moldable and customizable tools and weaponry arsenal grows for each of the four classes, the only surefire way to gain the upper hand is in a highly diverse squad who is very familiar with their weapons of choice. The lone ranger can do some damage, but not like a squad that is well organized. So, the difficulty there is finding a team you can work with. All of the servers I play on always say, "We are recruiting." I am not necessarily looking to join a clan for serious play, but if you hang out on the same server all the time, you make friends fast. Of course, you make enemies as well.

Game Mechanics:

With every new expansion, there is always a new patch associated with it, and Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike is no different. They claim that they didn't "nerf" or soften up any of the weapon balancing, but it seems that the Voss-lar is now the gun to tote, and the Lambert Carbine is taking a little more time to drop someone than it used to. There are several crash fixes and a few server side commands added.

The expansion is priced at around $10.00. Given all of the new maps and weapons, I feel that this is actually a great value that adds to the way the game is played. The difference here and the lesson I mentioned before is that the booster pack adds value to established gameplay without changing the game radically. The addition is new weapons and not new fighting styles. A good game made better. See you in the game, just don't let me catch you on my Titan.


-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Minimum System Requirements:



Existing installation of Battlefield 2142, Required Internet, Connection and EA Link , OS - Windows XP, Processor 1.7 GHz or faster; Intel Pentium 4/AMD Athlon, Memory 512 MB RAM, Hard Drive 400 MB in addition to the space required by BF2142 DVD Drive - 8 SPEED, Video Card 128 MB* (AGP and PCIe only), Sound Card - DirectX 9.0c compatible**, DirectX - Version 9.0c, Online Multiplayer 128 Kbps or faster; 2-64 Players, Input - Keyboard, Mouse
 

Test System:



Windows XP Pro, 3.2 GHz P4HT CPU, 2 GB Ram, 512 PCIE 16 ATI X1600XT

Sony PlayStation 3 MotorStorm Sony PlayStation 3 Def Jam: Icon

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated